I’m sweeping Georgian steps for minimal wage. Every time I look at accumulation there’s less, like dreams as soon as you stop trying to remember they return. Changing routes mid-tack is a recipe for failure which I’d hate to claim. Yet measuring salt, tossing handfuls of sunflower seeds, sifting flour, rolling dough, boiling euros, dicing mortgage percentages, and roasted fantasies of cycling/sailing around the world with the wind at my back–fuck! I’ve burnt the crust.

Cigarette butts and shattered glass into cycle-lanes, the tiny street-zamboni will come with sunrise. The pastor next door will scatter ashes over the choir. The advertisements are made badly so we all subscribe. When the cousin I haven’t seen in thirty years gave me that Middleton Very Rare Bottling of Whiskey, I felt pretty poor. Here’s a box of Celebrations and nothing for the two-year old I forgot or pretended I never knew you had. The wrappers are bright.

For the record, I never planned to be the cheap cunt. Cheers.

9 Comments

  1. Wilson Koewing

    David,

    Man, I loved this one on a visceral level. It felt like posturing, but in the best possible way. A confident piece that seems like it’s basically what it wants to be. I was compelled. I don’t know what I can tell you as far as making it better. It’s just not my style. I read it and it affected me and I liked it a lot. My only minor critique, which is so very subjective, would be focus, what is the true focus supposed to be. Can there be a clearer focus than just the sheer enjoyment that this piece draws out in a reader? I don’t know. But if there could be it would be even more powerful.

    Best,
    Wilson

  2. Jennifer Todhunter

    i can get behind your stream of consciousness style writing and appreciated the depth of this sentence “Yet measuring salt, tossing handfuls of sunflower seeds, sifting flour, rolling dough, boiling euros, dicing mortgage percentages, and roasted fantasies of cycling/sailing around the world with the wind at my back–fuck! I’ve burnt the crust.” but wasn’t exactly sure how we got there?

    You cover a lot of ground here and while I enjoy the words you use to get there immensely, I’m not totally sure of the path we’re taking, so I wonder if it needs to be refined or explored or elaborated on just a bit.

    Interesting work, though, I came back for it.

  3. Robert Vaughan

    Hi David, I’ve read this through a few times. Each time, my take-away was different, so in that sense, it’s remarkably fresh. Unusual. Stunning, poetic and wide-spread. I dig the thing that puts most readers off- the lack of cohesion, or continuity. I like the unknowing, the Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons- esque aspect to this piece. It feels uniquely you.

  4. Benjamin Niespodziany

    “Cigarette butts and shattered glass into cycle-lanes, the tiny street-zamboni will come with sunrise. The pastor next door will scatter ashes over the choir.” WOW

    Love how this feels like a sideways journal entry or unhinged postcard. Sending a letter home after a handful of drinks. The opening line is so good, but I worry American readers will assume you’re in the state instead of the country? I wonder if a second sentence can follow it up. “I’m sweeping Georgian steps for minimal wage. A script like Cyrillic swimming with Latin.” – maybe a bad example, but throwing you further into that world (I looked up their alphabet and it’s so squiggly! haha)

  5. Len Kuntz

    King David.

    This was another wooosh! A real wonder. The manic pace of it, with all you’ve imbedded, really amped up the intrigue, despair, and urgency. There were too many wonderful bits to cite, because it was all quite splendid, but this, for me, seemed to underscore the narrator’s sense of perplexity–“Every time I look at accumulation there’s less.” I think the title also does a lot of great work for you. This was something else. Terrific.

  6. Al Kratz

    Love it David. I think it’s another one that at first glance looks like its meandering, or linear, but it sneakily is. There’s a life arc in this thing too,

  7. Jonathan Cardew

    Love this, David! I love the slight adjustments you make with language like “minimal wage” and “dicing mortgage percentages” There’s something pleasing in the surprise of these adjustments. This was a joy to read.

    Can you run with the epistolary a little more? Could even break this up into a series of texts or notes on an app? Those would be ridiculous texts.

    Great stuff!!!

    –Jonathan

  8. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    David, Love the way the sentences take internal right angles, never quite making closed geometrics. Love ‘fuck I’ve burnt the crust! and all that precedes it, and all that follows it in the next paragraph. A fine set of accumulations that are and aren’t. It’s so good to read your work again. Thinking of you Barcelona way!

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